Israel reveals blacklist of BDS groups not welcome in Jewish State


Members of 18 worldwide organizations that promote a boycott campaign of Israel, known collectively as the BDS movement, will be banned from entering the country, according to a list published Sunday by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

"Despite the fact that my grandparents are buried there, that my aging in-laws still live there, and my extensive ties of friendship and family, my support for the BDS movement for Palestinian rights now excludes me from Israel", she said.

Among the groups that are banned include Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Code Pink and Friends of al-Aqsa (FOA).

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement works primarily in Western countries to persuade companies, entertainers, universities and churches to boycott the Jewish state, divest from it and sanction it in order to force a pro-Palestinian political agenda.

The barring of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in the United Kingdom could theoretically extend to Jeremy Corbyn - the leader of the opposition Labour Party and a patron of the group, one of the major vehicles for BDS activism in the UK.

"The UK government must condemn this latest crackdown on human rights defenders".

He added: "This blacklist is a repressive tactic borrowed from the same playbook used by the apartheid regime in South Africa, when it tried to censor critics".

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Israel had previously refused to divulge the full list of blacklisted groups.

South African, French, Italian and Chilean branches of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) also featured on the blacklist. Liberal democracies do not prevent entry to individuals whose only offence is to draw attention to human rights abuses and to call for non-violent action to address them.

"The boycott organizations need to know that the state of Israel will act to stop them and prevent their representatives from entering the country to harm its citizens", Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said in a statement.

In the years since its formation, the BDS movement has persuaded several church organizations to divest themselves of Israel-related investments and has garnered support on USA college campuses.

According to a statement by the Strategic Affairs Ministry, those who have carried out "significant, ongoing and consistent harm to Israel through advocating boycotts may be considered to have their entry barred". "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organisations".

It said that they employed "a false propaganda campaign aimed at undermining Israel's legitimacy in the world".